Industries across America are facing a talent gap as older employees retire, and younger generations pursue careers elsewhere. Large companies in fields like manufacturing or energy are no longer competing strictly within their industry for talent – they’re competing with rapidly growing companies in tech, healthcare, finance, communications, and more. As a result, companies need to think creatively and strategically about the value they offer to employees and how they’re positioning themselves in the marketplace.
The Changing Workforce
The first step in attracting talent is understanding who’s actually in today’s talent pool – in the United States, 47% of workers are women, and millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Because the cost of losing an employee can be up to 200% of that employee’s annual salary, it’s more important than ever to prioritize retaining top female talent and building programs designed to attract and retain millennials.
Solutions for Closing the Gap
Meet Potential Employees Where They Are. Gone are the days of posting job openings on monster.com or on a local university job board. In order to hire top millennial talent, you need to catch their attention where they are alreading spending significant amounts of time – their phone.
- Offer mobile-friendly job applications to make your company accessible whenever, wherever and make the application process as easy and as streamlined as possible.
- Use video as an educational tool to explain job benefits, perks, and expectations. As a potential employer, you will make a stronger impact on prospects if you give them the opportunity to see your company’s benefits, culture, story, and team rather than just read about it.
Use Millennials as Influencers to Attract New Talent. Millennials are a connected generation. They’re active online, and seek out peer feedback when making decisions big and small. 85% of millennial women identify as influencers, which means they spread the word about products and brands they love to their friends and online communities. Because of social media and sites like GlassDoor.com, your brand is out there in the world—with no guarantee that the dialogue about you is entirely positive—and millennials are reading about it when they’re prospecting. It’s up to you to make this network of influencers your ally.
- Develop ambassador programs so your employees can share their passion for your company and be rewarded for it.
- Create incentives for employees to refer their friends.
- Send millennial employees to career fairs where new grads can get to know your company and your team.
Train Millennial Talent for Leadership Positions. To retain the talent you already have, help them explore their upward mobility. By training employees for leadership positions you’re developing a skill set that will facilitate individuals’ growth, while supporting your future business. You’ll end up with a more talented group of employees, and they’ll be more likely to stay – 71% of millennials who are likely to leave their job in the next two years are unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed. To build a successful leadership development strategy:
- Create a leadership culture to demonstrate growth opportunities to employees.
- Build a training program that aligns with your business goals.
- Be flexible about creating development programs specific to your employees, their department, and their goals.
Use Great Benefits to Retain Employees. According to the US Department of Labor, 69% of expectant women and new parents consider their employers’ benefits when deciding to start a family – so great benefits are crucial not only to attracting employees, but to retaining your current employees as they start families. Increasing employee satisfaction with their healthcare program not only improves their health and happiness, but it also enhances your company culture and increases your employee value proposition.
- Design a simple and effective benefits program that is easy for your employees to understand and fully utilize.
- Work with third party solutions to create new and unique benefits offerings.
- Clearly communicate why your benefits are important and unique.
- Focus on culture, knowing that building a great corporate culture will attract a strong team and increase the likelihood of retaining your current talent.
The number of companies taking a nontraditional approach to how they attract and retain talent is increasing – in order to remain competitive in a changing market, employers need to tap into into the changing workforce in new and meaningful ways.
We recently recorded a webinar that explores this topic in-depth. Though originally created for the oil and gas industry, we know this content is applicable to many changing industries across the United States. Access the recording.